MOFT Snap Tablet Stand Review and My Interview with Casey Newton
Plus: how to use Shortcuts to make a Pomodoro timer
Update: After posting my review of this stand, MOFT reached out to clarify some things for me. First, the magnet situation was more complicated that I previously thought.
The magnets of iPad are placed around the device, not in the center. So if we try to use the built-in magnets, the kickstand has to be much bigger.
Second, MOFT released a video recently showing how to attach and fold your Snap Tablet Stand, which is infinitely better than the instructions that are inside the packaging.
Between these two things I have to say that this clears up some of the gripes I had with this case, but the biggest issue of screen protection is sadly still not solved.
I did learn that you can attach the Snap Tablet Stand to the back of the Magic Keyboard, which is nice but not what I was hoping for. That said, it does make for a great solution for those who want both the stand and the Magic Keyboard.
I recently purchased the MOFT Snap Tablet Stand in hopes to use it in tandem with my MacBook Air as a second monitor or as an iPad Stand when I use Universal Control (whenever that is made available). After a few weeks of use, the stand offers support, but falls short in some areas.
Why I Bought it
MOFT has been on my radar ever since they released the Float tablet case/stand. I have wanted a case that I can use seamlessly with my Magic Keyboard, that's when I saw the Snap Tablet Stand.
Look and Feel
The MOFT Snap Tablet Stand has a leather-like feel and easy to fold edges. I never had any issue folding or unfolding the stand. It was always easy to use the stand when I was setting it up or putting it away.
I also never felt that the material was interfering with the stand. It's grippy enough to stand the iPad without sliding, but smooth enough on your hands to make it a premium feel.
I honestly have nothing negative to say about how my bright orange stand feels in my hand or handles on my iPad. That said, MOFT touts 6 different viewing angles, 3 in Landscape mode and 3 in Portrait mode. Of those 6 viewing angles, I never have my iPad in portrait mode and the 3 landscape angles offer very little difference. I would say that there is maybe 30 degrees of difference between the lowest landscape angle and the highest landscape angle.
Furthermore, the instructions that show these different angles offer little to no help on how to get the stand to each position. At times you need to rotate the entire stand 180 degrees, in others you need to fold down a section of the stand, and for some you need to do both. It wasn't fun learning how to do all of these different angles and I certainly hope MOFT makes the instructions much more clear going forward.
Even after getting to know all the different angles, I often just left the stand in one angle I liked and never did anything else with it. When I am done using my iPad at my desk I unsnap it from the stand and put it in my Magic Keyboard.
It snaps, but not the way you think
MOFT has created a tablet stand that is meant to magnetically connect to the iPad, but it doesn't connect the way you might think. The iPad Pro is littered with magnets, which allows for the Magic Keyboard, and a slew of other iPad cases, to connect to the iPad. For some unknown reason MOFT requires you to slap on a magnetic sticker to your iPad, regardless of model, in order for the tablet stand to work properly. When I tried to use it without the magnets it failed to hold my iPad for any reasonable amount of time.
My guess as to why MOFT did this is because they wanted to cater to all iPad models, including both iPad Pro models and the regular iPad models. Because of the wide range of iPads they wanted to support, this makes the magnets on the Pro models to render useless for MOFT's designs.
I will say that MOFT has made something that works with both the MOFT stand and the Apple Magic Keyboard. I don't find myself needing to remove the sticker in order for the iPad to fit in the Magic Keyboard case. Still, I wonder if just a standard iPad case does exactly what I need while not needing a magnetic sticker.
MOFT vs a standard case
There is another big issue with this stand, and other MOFT iPad products, which is when you are not using it your iPad screen is entirely exposed. If I wanted to keep this snap stand on my iPad at all times I would need to find a screen-only cover for my iPad Pro, which isn't easy to come by as the magnets used to hold most cases are on the back of the tablet. Alternatively I could just let my screen be exposed and maybe use a screen protector instead. Neither of these options are optimal to me though, which leaves me looking at other cases.
I don't always need the Magic Keyboard, in fact I have found myself using it less and less as I use my iPad as a podcast editor rather than a writing tool nowadays. The MOFT stand works fine as a stand for podcast editing, but it doesn't offer anything extra that a standard tri-fold case can't. The upside of a tri-fold case is that when I am done, I can cover my screen and protect it from scratches and scuffs where the MOFT Snap Tablet Stand cannot.
Honestly, I find myself choosing a standard case that I bought on Amazon for $16 over the $40 MOFT Snap Tablet Stand.
The MOFT Snap Tablet Stand has good ideas, but what it lacks in screen protection and clear instructions leaves much to be desired. In the end, I find myself not using this stand because a standard run-of-the-mill iPad case offers the same features and full protection when not in use.
Casey Newton's Writing Process
In a brand new episode of A Slab of Glass Casey Newton, founder of Platformershares his writing setup from idea to posting, how his first year of independent writing has been, and more. It was a pleasure to speak with Casey about his process, and I learned a ton that I plan to dive deep into in this Thursday’s issue of the newsletter.
If you want access to that you will need to be a paid member. For just $3/month or $30/year you can be a premium member and get exclusive issues of Tablet Habit as well as support independent writing.
Workflow of the Week: Pomodoro Timer
Mike Burke shared a shortcut on how to make a Pomodoro that utilizes the current date and Calendar. Best part is that he also walks through this shortcut in a video.
The challenge was that the Smart Folio has three partitions in the front that allow the folio to fold into a stand, and I didn't want the stickers in those folds. Further, for stickers spanning across a crease, I didn't want to affix them and then need to figure out how to cut them so that the knife didn't damage the folio any further.
For that solution, I turned to dbrand and picked up one of their matte skins for the iPad Smart Folio. This method allowed me to layer and precisely cut the stickers the way I wanted onto each partition and then apply the dbrand sheets (covered in stickers) to the front and back of the case.
Unfortunately, we’ve seen readership slowly decline, especially with apps like Apple’s News+ and Flipboard, which do a great job of aggregating content from lots of different publishers. And of course, there’s Facebook and Twitter as well. Ironically, as readership of the Magazine declined, we saw readership in the News+ app pick up.
It’s too bad, because I think the Magazine was the best way to read Cult of Mac. It was published using some beautiful software from TapJet, which includes great animations and page transitions. The app is easy to browse and navigate. The artwork looked great. The posts really popped.
But it never got the traction it deserved, so it’s time to close it down.
Mark Gurman shares his thoughts on the Apple charger strategy (spoiler: it's not great).
Believe it or not, if you’re lucky enough to have an iPhone, iPad Pro, Apple Watch and, soon, a next-generation Mac laptop with the new MagSafe connector, you’ll be using four different charging cables to juice up your Apple devices. For a company that prides itself on simplicity and making all of its technology work seamlessly together, that is an anomaly.